Definition of pastoral in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpastərəl/
Pronunciation: /pasˈtôrəl/


1(Especially of land or a farm) used for or related to the keeping or grazing of sheep or cattle: scattered pastoral farms
More example sentences
  • In the early years, Tom focussed on developing the land and building his sheep and cattle business into a pastoral empire worth tens of millions of dollars.
  • In NSW the selector could settle on land in the pastoral domain without prior notice or official survey: this was free selection by free selectors.
  • The station went under the hammer for $1.76 million dollars and is the best price for pastoral land.
1.1Associated with country life: the view was pastoral, with rolling fields and grazing sheep
More example sentences
  • Environmental degradation associated with agricultural and pastoral practices has compounded the rural crisis.
  • The theory envisaged a simple agrarian and pastoral world inhabited by four kinds of people.
  • Unlike communities associated with agriculture and industry, the identities of pastoral groups have been far more elastic.
rural, country, countryside, rustic, agricultural, bucolic
literary sylvan, Arcadian
1.2(Of a work of art) portraying or evoking country life, typically in a romanticized or idealized form.
Example sentences
  • Recalling the pastoral works of Homer Watson, her shots of rolling, sunbathed hills effectively showcase her background in still photography.
  • An idyllic pastoral quality is evoked by two men enjoying the view from the shore of Rocky Neck in the foreground, while a third walks by with his dog and two sheep.
  • Hall's pieces are pastoral, evoking the chirrup of birds who have learnt the song of car alarms, and the grunt of a badly maintained bus.
2(In the Christian Church) concerning or appropriate to the giving of spiritual guidance: pastoral and doctrinal issues clergy doing pastoral work
More example sentences
  • Although restricted by the government, he was allowed to engage in pastoral work and development projects, and served as chaplain to the foreign community in Phnom Penh, the capital.
  • As part of her pastoral work with St James, she also carried out communion at three Clitheroe nursing homes, Castleford, Pendle Court and Clitheroe Nursing Home.
  • For over ten years his pastoral work was always marked by gentleness, thoughtfulness and sensitivity, especially to those in trouble.
priestly, clerical, ecclesiastical, ministerial


A work of literature portraying an idealized version of country life: the story, though a pastoral, has an actual connection with the life of agricultural labor
More example sentences
  • Their pastorals, both published in 1651, offered choices to Royalists in the aftermath of the crushing defeat at Worcester.
  • Educated at Oxford, he had written pastorals before leaving for London to become both actor and playwright.
  • He wrote The Distrest Mother, a successful adaptation of Racine's Andromaque, but is remembered chiefly for his quarrel with Pope over the relative merits of their pastorals.



Pronunciation: /ˈpast(ə)rəˌlizəm/
Example sentences
  • She had taught at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, from 1976-2000, specialising in the Indus civilisation, urbanisation, trade and pastoralism.
  • With the advent of non-traditional Aboriginal lifestyles, pastoralism, buffel grass, feral animals and road access to many places in the NT, land management has changed forever from pre-European times.
  • In more than a quarter of a century of land rights there has been no significant commercial development in the southern NT where Aborigines own half the land, despite ample opportunities in tourism, pastoralism and horticulture.


Pronunciation: /ˈpastərəlē/
Pronunciation: /pasˈtôrəlē/
Example sentences
  • It's knowing that pastorally, someone's there - a confidant and friend of the club, and someone around who's also objective and neutral.
  • We are concerned that further moves in a multi-faith direction could be pastorally damaging and could undermine Christian outreach in the diocese.
  • We think it is a good idea, particularly pastorally.


Late Middle English: from Latin pastoralis 'relating to a shepherd', from pastor 'shepherd' (see pastor).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pas·to·ral

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